A Haven for Vee

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Garden Before and After

Oh I can't leave that nasty former post sitting there staring at me and you. My mood is swinging improving as I count my blessings instead of the raindrops.

Thought I'd share a quick before and after today. You may remember that I had to dig out all the Lily of the Valley because it took over the front garden. I'm happy to report that, though my back hasn't gotten over it yet, so many of the plants and flowers are happier and doing better than they've done in a long while.

So while John was building the planter, I finished digging up the garden and replanting displaced plants. Then I thought that the crimson azalea should be replanted. The one logical spot for it was under the path to the front door. True! So I dug out the asphalt leaving dirt and amended the soil and then John came to help me dig up the azalea and give it a new home. One additional benefit is that that corner has stopped flooding. How odd!



I reset the stones making a little path instead of the little landing or whatever it was before; I made a big boo-boo with the distance between the first and second stone, but I must wait for a stronger back to do it right. John helped me set in edging and the little fence to keep the critters out. So far so good!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

 Run a lot

 Watch a lot

 Play Streamer Tag

 Keep those streamers airborne 

Take a break

Try on your super hero capes (made by Auntie)

 Tie on your jet packs (as seen on Pinterest by Auntie)

 Dream of Flying

 Keep on Trying

Get some help with the dream

Flap your wings a little and believe

(Mama does some encouraging; John does, too, while some of us can't help but giggle.)

What a guy!

Hope that your weekend was as much fun as mine...


My heart is full when I think of all those who have laid down their lives so that children can romp on a lawn, dream of flying, and live in a free country. We never forget that freedom is not "free." 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Psalm 66: 8–9

Even if the path is winding...

Many blessings this holiday weekend!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Hemlock Planter

Did an entire day slip me by? Hmmm...

John sure has been busy. He's even worked through rain.

~Making the Mad Dash through Torrential Downpours~

The measurements are 8 ft by 3 ft and it is 2 ft deep. I will fill it with a 60% screened topsoil and a 40% compost, which will all be mixed in together. 

The results sure are pleasing. Next time you see this, perhaps it'll be filled with lush plantings. Currently, John's considering using it as a poodle pound. Poor Molly!

Diane had this suggestion for me: Hope you gave hubby a Yankee dime for all that hard work! 

Now John and I had no idea what a "Yankee dime" was never having heard the term. We did come up with an interesting theory. John suggested that it is a post Civil War term meaning that a Confederate dime wouldn't be worth much. Not so. According to Diane, a "Yankee dime" is a peck on the cheek. 

Well, that's pretty cheap pay. In addition to a peck on the cheek, I made John a strawberry-rhubarb pie. It didn't come out of the oven until after ten p.m. and John waited up for it. Now that's saying something!

It wasn't pretty, but it tasted great.

Have a wonderful start to the weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


If you were to take a foreign language which one would you choose? When I was a student in high school, I selected French because my corner is right next door to Quebec and there are a lot of people in my area who speak French. If I were to select a language today that I may communicate with the minority in my area, I suppose it would be Somali.

When Jill told us about Captcha and Duolingo, I signed up for German lessons. Don't ask. No, no, you may ask. Duolingo offered two choices: Spanish
and German.

When I went to college, I tried to sign up for more French classes. Because I had done so well just skated by in high school. There were two languages open on that registration day: Spanish and German. Every time I have been given a choice between Spanish and German, I have selected German.

It's just as well. German is the closet language to English. (Sometimes John, having never taken any language, French, Spanish, Somali or German, comes in and translates my sentence for me making it all look so very easy-peasy. He says it is "logical."  I say he's a show-off. )

Anyway, I had been waiting patiently for my invitation to Duolingo for a while. It arrived last week. I have been studying dabbling ever since.

Yes, I have been learning ever so much.

 I'd just like to say that I have, by now, reached Level 5

 When in a bind, tell the truth. It will confound the green owl.

Either that green owl needs a taste of Lux or this is going to come in handy.

John needs two more of these. Verdammt!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tying Up Loose Ends

Good morning. It's raining. I'm so grateful. Why this sudden change of heart? It means that we might not have to work as hard today as we did yesterday. John most especially.

Eight 6 by 6 by 8ft green hemlock=heavy!

This was our inspiration: a photo taken at the Fryeburg Fair last October.

So here the hemlock waits. John's going to build it in place. It'll be permanent. The goal is to set it up between the barn star and the white post to the right. My rhubarb will be going elsewhere. (It's never done well there anyway.) The chives will probably go into the bed/planter. I don't dare to call it a raised bed anymore.  =D


In the afternoon, I decided to dig out all that terribly invasive Lily of the Valley that has been advancing on my plants. It wiped out the Astilbe and Rudbeckia. Before it got any more of a stronghold, I thought it time to spring into action. Thing is my spring broke in 1986. Anyway, nothing that an hour of work with a pitchfork can't handle. Lily of the Valley is not easy to get rid of because it's tuberous and has miles of interconnecting roots. I still have a lot of work to get it straightened around yet.


Lorrie sent me the most wonderful Note Cards last week. Didn't she present them beautifully?

If you visit Fabric Paper Thread, you'll find Lorrie walking on this very beach many days. She is a wonderful photographer and has an incredible eye.

They're much more lovely in person, believe me. Go see for yourself! I'm so impressed with Lorrie's note cards that I am more eager than ever to give it a try myself.


So many of you have expressed your love and admiration for Elisabeth Elliot
Gren that I want to tell you about Dani, a personal friend of the Grens, who blogs at The Invisible Reality. She has posted an update, which she says will probably be her final update. I will stay in touch with her via email. I felt most encouraged reading her post today.

Over and out. If you're still reading, another medal is in order. Have a blessed Tuesday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Stuff and Things Post

Such a beautiful string of days we've been having. Today, we are off to run a load of errands. The first stop is the lumberyard where we're picking up the lumber for a raised bed. It'll be three feet high so it will be quite a lovely one I hope. Then we're off for the compost and dirt to fill it and then the plants and then the mulch. Busy day. I think that many are having busy days like this, especially those in the north.

My daughter stopped by yesterday on her way to a baby shower. She has been using her gift of Christmas (a sewing machine) and this is what she made.

The cutest little pair of baby booties I've ever seen. Edited to Add 5/30/2012: Just getting back with the link for the blog where my daughter found the pattern at StardustShoes.

I had her stand out beside the white lilac because she gave it to me in 1995; it has never done as well as this year. It was in a bucket not up to her knees when I first planted it. Yesterday the sun was so bright that it washed out everything so here's a better look at the important subject.

I still can't see her...

Ahhh...Much better

So that's it for today. I have Note Cards waiting in the wings, dastardly Lily of the Valley that I want to discuss, and who knows what else will pop into this old head of mine through the week. And, if John does a good job, I may even show you a raised bed. What's on the docket at your place?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

White Lilacs~Mosaic Monday

Linking to Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Hope that all my Canadian friends are enjoying a happy holiday weekend with plenty of time to smell the lilacs!

Have a great week all...

Prayer Request

Be prepared. You're up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it's all over but the shouting you'll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You'll need them throughout your life. God's Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.~Ephesians 6: 13–18 The Message

ETA: In recent years, The Message translation has proven to be less than wonderful for me. So, for that reason, when I run into posts where I have used it, I now also add the more traditional KJV version.

Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 

 Ephesians 6: 13–18

Elisabeth Elliot's Devotional has been in my sidebar for a few years now. I enjoy popping in to read there every few days. It was because of that link that a blogger let me know that in recent days Elisabeth and her husband Lars Gren have been in a car accident. Elisabeth is doing well; however, Mr. Gren has extensive injuries. Please join us, and so many others, in praying for this Godly couple who both have been so faithful to do the Lord's work.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Alt Code Favorites ♥

I like ALT codes. I have my favorites. I'm sharing them today because a number of you have asked. A Google Search of ALT Codes will take you to many sites where you can print off a sheet for reference. My list works for PCs and you can Google for those that work with Macs.

Here are the ones I often use:

Alt 0233 = é — This comes in very handy for a gal who has a cat named Fioré.

Alt 14 = ♫ —  Makes a cute little bullet for a bullet list

Alt 13 = ♪ — Ditto

Alt 1 = ☺— instead of =D ( An equal sign with a capital D; I like them both.)

Alt 3 = ♥ — very sweet and if you use the colors offered, even sweeter ♥♥♥

Cooking Measurement Alts:

Alt 171 = ½ —  Cute, eh? Much better than 1/2

Alt 0190 = ¾

Alt 0188 = ¼

(I've had trouble getting other fractions to work. It's unfortunate because I'd really like the one-third fraction to be part of my collection. Edited to Add: ⅓ Hahahhahaha...one way or the other. The code is Alt 8531, which doesn't always work for me. It worked in my Office program, though, so I copied and pasted.)

Alt 0176 = ° — as in  Bake at 350°F

Alt 155 = ¢ — So much nicer sometimes than to spell out "cents."

So there you have it. Almost. May I fill you in on dashes?

There are three kinds of dashes: a regular dash, an en dash, and an em dash.

Wait! Where are you going? Come on back. I see your eyes glazing over. As a matter of fact, I know that look very well; I have worn it myself from time to time.

All three dashes are found in special symbols in any word processing program, but what about using Alt symbols for them so they can easily be used in blog writing?

- a regular dash found between the 0 and the +  = keys on the top row of a standard keyboard. It is used when both words are considered equal. For example: It was a top-heavy buffet. Top and heavy are equal in value, one is not more significant than the other, hence the use of the dash to connect them in this adjective describing buffet.

an en dash is about twice the width of a regular dash and should be used as one would use the word "through." For example: The fair will be October 1 – 7. October 1 - 7 is incorrect. Do you care? Probably not, though it looks so nice when properly done.

and an em dash, which is about three times the width of a regular dash and used as an arrow.You may note that that it is how I used them in my Alt list, a way to "arrow" from the symbol to my explanation. It is used for extra emphasis. For example: And in his hand he held — my heart. (Okay, that 's just freaky, but you get my point. You do get my point — right? )

Alt 0150= – (an en dash) 

Alt 0151 = — (an em dash) 

So that's it. Some of you will love it; some of you need a break from class. =D Do you use Alt Codes? Know any good ones?

P.S. I forgot an important thing. You PC users must press and hold the Alt key while typing in the number codes. Practice once and you'll be hooked! (Keep holding, it may be slightly delayed.)

Friday, May 18, 2012

Imagery by Kimberly

Dear Daisy Cottage. Do you remember that blog? Kim writes there. About a year ago, she decided to move on from writing about her 1920s bungalow on a regular basis. Oh what a bungalow it is — lots of yellows and reds — charm and cheer. It is a welcoming place. (*A Houzz interview* showing a quick overview of Dear Daisy Cottage.)

At first, I didn't know what to think. Move on? Move on to what? Hmmm, yes, a swan family. A Swan Family? Really, Kim? Are you sure? I mean, swans are beautiful and all, though I would just as soon that we leave things as they've always been. You know?

Well, no, she didn't know because soon she was off and writing — no, not so much writing — sharing. Sharing her heart and her view of life by showing us the story of The Swan Family. (Sometimes a duck family paddles through.) Nearly every day at Imagery by Kimberly, we can see the story unfold via Kim's incredible photography. There have been joyous days, glorious days, and heart-wrenching days.

Now, some of you know that John and I like swans very much. He began collecting them long before I did; now we collect them together.

You may imagine my surprise when, one day last week, I read that Kim had some photos to share if her readers would like one. I looked around real quick and thought is she talking to me?

Yes, she was! Thank you so much, Kim, for the gift of your photography and your blog and your heart...

Thursday, May 17, 2012

A Sunny Morning Chat

~Peanut Chews and Arnold Palmer~

Yes! The sun is shining. Wonder of wonders. And, it will shine through the weekend. We are promised so it has to be true. After that, things go downhill again. This report is brought to you because there are those in the UK who depend upon such things in the same way that I depend on Judy and Lovella to keep me informed. When those two start talking about sunshine instead of rain, I perk up. Hope that this does the same for Barbara and Linds.

Thanks to all my Note Card Ladies. I want to apologize for forgetting about the party myself until way late. On short notice, many of you came through. Lovely photos all over the place. Susy described finding her photos this way: Here are four I think are worthy of another spin around the dance floor.  Isn't that perfect?! So, yes, it's giving some of our photos another chance to shine. The next party is scheduled for June 20 with Mr. Linky going up the evening before. I am leaving myself a little message at the top of my sidebar even as I lower the graphic. Edited to Add: Being the model of efficiency I am, I closed Mr. Linky too soon. Ceekay, fresh back from Florida, hadn't had the opportunity to link up. *Her note cards are so beautiful,* I hope that you'll have the chance to visit.

Those peanut chews were made a few days ago after reading Jill's posts. (You'll find the actual recipe *here.*) I am not going to spoil the story for you because it's a cute one and you'd enjoy it.

I'll hint at it instead by telling you about finding my mother elbow deep in ingredients one day shortly before Christmas 2006. She had finally found her grandmother's recipe for some treat in the bottom of her grandmother's old recipe box. The recipe had slid down and had been lost for years and years. The box itself had been lost as well.

Mother would tell us the same story every year about how her Grandmother D always made this particular treat and it was so delicious and how much she enjoyed it. It was very expensive to make having all manner of unusual ingredients. I looked around and saw pistachios, maraschino cherries, miniature marshmallows, some sort of liqueur and I've long forgotten what else.

My mother had imagined for so long how that recipe would taste and, when she finally had it all baked, I watched as she took the first bite. She chewed on it for a bit then announced that it did not live up to her memory. The end. I must have that recipe here somewhere just so I could warn you to stay away. Perhaps it's slipped to the bottom again.

So Jill tells a story about a recipe that lives in memory until...

Oh, one last thing, do you need a recipe card? Catherine Holman offered a great one on May 10. I used it to write down the Peanut Chew recipe. Sweet!

Do all your favorite recipes live up to your memories?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Note Card Party~May

Welcome to the third Note Card Party! How quickly a month flies by (we won't depress ourselves by thinking about that). On with the festivities...

I was obviously hungry when I began thinking about this month's Note Card Party. Thinking about themes has never been a strong suit for me. If I were working on being totally theme-y~theme-y, I might have gone with four chocolate offerings. Somehow the Paska and the pizza worked their way in.

Rules Refresher:

1. Let's try not to make too many rules... 
2. Search for four photographs on your own blog that would make a nice set of note cards. They must have appeared on your blog by the time you link up. 
3. Write your post.
4. Link directly to your post below. 
5. Visit ten or so others (at least) and comment. Knowing that new visitors are viewing and commenting is part of the fun. (Permission granted to look and not comment at blogs practicing safe commenting. All those word verifications get very tiring when trying to visit a lot of blogs.)
6. Have fun!

Note Card Party Invitation

Is there writing on the wall, Fioré?

Oh, yes!

A friendly invitation to all to join this month's Note Card Party. It's fun; it's easy; the more the merrier! Clicking on the button to the right will take you to all the pertinent information.

Have a wonderful day and I'll see you between 8 and 8:30 tonight and all day tomorrow. Mr. Linky will close Thursday morning around 10 a.m.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day 2012 Part 2

I wasn't planning to post today. Then I remembered! It's Note Card Party Week. Mr. Linky will be up tomorrow evening between 8 and 8:30. 


~Lemon Chiffon Superbells from my son and family and an unknown climber from my daughter~

One thing is certain, they all know that I love yellow. It is a blessing to get a jump start on decorative flowers to bless the house and deck by. 

 ~My favorite gifts of Mother's Day—My Son, Daughter, and Grands~

~Look at them go!~

And the boys gave me a gift of flowers, too!

~Tote Blue and, on the reverse side, Tote Red~

Did you have a great weekend? I'm coming to visit soon!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Time Spent in a Garden~Mosaic Monday

Remember that children, marriages, friendships, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they are given. ~Unknown

When I have a very busy weekend, as this one has been, I am especially grateful for even a quick walk through our local garden. Pardon me for not paying enough attention to camera settings. The sun was so bright and cheering.  Hope the memory gets me through the next week of rain.

Wonder if Mary's been walking in a garden... Please join this party at Little Red House.

Mother's Day 2012

Esther's Insights is highly recommended this Mother's Day for the scripture,  beautiful poetry, Il Divo, and dear reminders.

I'm so glad that God thought of mothers.

May sweet memories be made today and may sweet times gone by be cherished.

Many blessings...

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Secret

The Secret
We have a secret, just we three,
The robin, and I, and the sweet cherry-tree;
The bird told the tree, and the tree told me,
And nobody knows it but just us three.

But of course the robin knows it best,
Because she built the--I shan't tell the rest;
And laid the four little--something in it--
I'm afraid I shall tell it every minute.

But if the tree and the robin don't peep,
I'll try my best the secret to keep;
Though I know when the little birds fly about
Then the whole secret will be out.

by Anonymous

   Really? I thought it was written by Aileen Fisher, a prolific children's writer. 

    Anyway, if you have three minutes to watch a wonderful time-lapse video of robins raising a family that Dawn at The Feathered Nest has shared, you'll love it. It is only a bit over three minutes long and what a *Sweet Spring Story* it is! 

    The sun is shining so I'm not going to allow difficulties with formatting this morning trouble me. Much. 

Have you ever noticed that spring peepers stop singing every night at about the same time? They are singing their little hearts out when, all of a sudden, and without fading out slowly, they simply stop. Around here it's 10:30 pm. Odd... It's hard to get to sleep when they stop like that. [Edited to Add: You can listen to them at *this site*; you may be surprised to learn what a spring peeper is. You may be surprised because I've mixed apples and oranges today as is my usual habit.]

Noticed anything unusual lately?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Snack Mat Tutorial

Don't get too excited. There are marvelous ones all over the internet. This is how I did mine.

This is totally incorrect. The next time, I will place the raw edge of the trim on the front side, sew and fold over to the back side. I'll show this step correctly done at the end.

Now that was rather fun for a lazy, rainy afternoon. Here is another idea.

The blue colors are more true in the early part of the mosaic. The purples not so much.

And, finally, *here* is a sweet set of snack mats, mug rugs, whatever you prefer to call them.  (I don't know if I'd ever have the patience or focus to make a set. I like trying all different kinds.)

Still pouring this morning so I'm going to do some much-needed housework. How about you?